HomeNewsBriefUrabeños are Colombia's Last National Drug Gang: Govt
BRIEF

Urabeños are Colombia's Last National Drug Gang: Govt

COLOMBIA / 29 MAR 2013 BY HANNAH STONE EN

The Urabeños are the last of Colombia’s new-generation criminal groups (known as the BACRIM) which still has a national presence, according to the government.

Speaking in the Caribbean city of Santa Marta, President Juan Manuel Santos said that other BACRIM (from the Spanish "bandas criminales"), such as the Rastrojos, were getting progressively weaker thanks to the actions of the government, according to a press release from the presidency. He highlighted the security forces’ work to capture or kill the leaders of these groups.

InSight Crime Analysis

Of the 33 splinter groups that emerged following the demobilization of the United Self-Defense Forces of Colombia (AUC), some six now remain, according to think tank Nuevo Arco Iris. However, this may be less a product of the government’s security policies than of the consolidation of the paramilitary successors into a smaller number of stronger groups.

The Urabeños have led the way in this consolidation, with their aggressive moves to absorb or neutralize rivals and take over their territory. The group has reportedly bought the support of organizations like the Machos and Renacer in west Colombia, taking on the rival Rastrojos in their home turf. Simultaneously, it has launched a bid to take Medellin from the long-established Oficina de Envigado.

The Urabeños are some of the principal suppliers of cocaine to Mexican cartels, among them the brutal Zetas.

share icon icon icon

Was this content helpful?

We want to sustain Latin America’s largest organized crime database, but in order to do so, we need resources.

DONATE

What are your thoughts? Click here to send InSight Crime your comments.

We encourage readers to copy and distribute our work for non-commercial purposes, with attribution to InSight Crime in the byline and links to the original at both the top and bottom of the article. Check the Creative Commons website for more details of how to share our work, and please send us an email if you use an article.

Was this content helpful?

We want to sustain Latin America’s largest organized crime database, but in order to do so, we need resources.

DONATE

Related Content

COLOMBIA / 9 JAN 2012

With the imposition of a curfew that paralyzed transport and shut down business in northwestern Colombia, the Urabeños defied the…

COCAINE / 22 MAR 2018

An ongoing conflict between Colombia’s two last remaining guerrilla groups continues to escalate along the Colombia-Venezuela border, highlighting the region’s…

COLOMBIA / 16 SEP 2016

Authorities have captured what they say is the maximum leader of the EPL narco-guerrilla network operating in Colombia's coca heartland…

About InSight Crime

THE ORGANIZATION

Venezuela El Dorado Investigation Makes Headlines

3 DEC 2021

InSight Crime's investigation into the trafficking of illegal gold in Venezuela's Amazon region generated impact on both social media and in the press. Besides being republished and mentioned by several…

THE ORGANIZATION

Gender and Investigative Techniques Focus of Workshops

26 NOV 2021

On November 23-24, InSight Crime conducted a workshop called “How to Cover Organized Crime: Investigation Techniques and A Focus on Gender.” The session convened reporters and investigators from a dozen…

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime Names Two New Board Members

19 NOV 2021

In recent weeks, InSight Crime added two new members to its board. Joy Olson is the former executive director of the Washington Office on Latin America…

THE ORGANIZATION

Senate Commission in Paraguay Cites InSight Crime

12 NOV 2021

InSight Crime’s reporting and investigations often reach the desks of diplomats, security officials and politicians. The latest example occurred in late October during a commission of Paraguay's Senate that tackled…

THE ORGANIZATION

Backing Investigative Journalism Around the Globe

5 NOV 2021

InSight Crime was a proud supporter of this year's Global Investigative Journalism Conference, which took place November 1 through November 5 and convened nearly 2,000 journalists…